Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin officially stepped down on Tuesday, and the two-time Super Bowl winning coach had an emotional goodbye. Here are some of the best quotes from Coughlin’s farewell press conference.
1 – "I’m more nervous about this press conference than anything I have done. I said yesterday it was not a sad day for (me and my family). … this is a different situation for me."
2 – "Pat deserves all the credit in 2006 for… maneuvering that path" — Coughlin on Giants Senior VP of communications Pat Hanlon, who he said facilitated his return in 2007, the year they won their first Super Bowl with Coughlin.
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3 – "I want to thank Judy, my quarterback. Without her, the hub, the strength… It comes from knowing that what goes on at home is handled." — Coughlin talking about his wife. Coughlin also directed a message to quarterback Eli Manning:
Tom Coughlin directly to Eli Manning, sitting in the second row: "It's not you, it's us." That's how you break up right there.
5 – "My contention is there is a higher ground. There is a greater purpose. And that purpose is team. … Championships are won by teams that love one another."
6 – "We have an obligation to teach these young men the skills they need once their professional careers are over."
7 – "It is our duty to equip these men the virtues that last a lifetime. … Not just winners on the field, but winners in life. You’d like these people for your next door neighbor. That’s how important it is to me."
8 – "When our players come back to me and say ‘coach, I love you’ … and they follow that up by saying they’re better men… because of having been New York Giants."
9 – "I’ve got a stiff neck every day of my life… what the heck does that have to do with playing?"
10 – Coughlin confirmed FS1 NFL insider Mike Garafolo’s report from Monday that if the right opportunity presents itself, he’d be willing to fill a head coaching vacancy:
Coughlin: "I'm not necessarily done with coaching. Thank you for asking."
11 – "Yeah, there’s always regrets… if this was 7-9 I’d be in the (owners’) office arguing like hell." — Coughlin on if he had any regrets on leaving the Giants.
And if there was one way for Coughlin to leave a lasting impression on those around him, it’s his five-minutes-early-or-your-late mantra. It seems like the everyone in the Giants organization from the top down lives by this:
Coughlin press conference started 5 minutes early. Not an accident.